How Satan Takes Advantage of Our Desires
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 2016 Jan 23
This week, I’ve been reading Good News About Satan by Bob Bevington, a marvelous little book on spiritual warfare that is really helpful and based solely on Scripture. In Chapter Two, “Recognize their Weapons,” the author elaborates on three major kinds of darts that Satan and his demons “deploy against our souls: deception, temptation, and accusation. All three are used with stealth and cunning, like the work of a committed arsonist who is able to ignite an entire home by starting with a bit of dry tinder and a single match.”
In this post, I will share just a few thoughts about the second dart, temptation. Temptation targets our desires, and our spiritual enemy deceives us into believing our desires should be served above God. James 1:14-15 makes it clear that temptation does not come primarily from the outside; temptation originates in our own sinful hearts by taking advantage of the desires that already exist there.
A Kettle of Stew - The human heart is like a kettle of stew on a hot stovetop, bubbling up desires of various kinds and intensities, and not all of them godly. Your own desires do the actual luring and enticing. The tempter merely adds the stimulus, which is always some form of lie or half-truth.
God Is the Fountain of All Good – God alone is the fountain of all good things. He intends for all of your desires to be met in and through him exclusively. Whether it’s your desires for comfort, security, significance, pleasure, acceptance, of approval, God is the only source of true and permanent fulfillment of every one of your deep longings, including all of these.
The Enemy Deceives – Taking advantage of our inner desires, along comes the enemy to deceive you into believing that one of your heart’s desires would be better fulfilled by placing your faith (trust, reliance, dependency) in something that isn’t God. Once you’ve embraced this deception, your desire will become a renegade one, conceiving and giving birth to sin.
A Vital Principle – Your battle with temptation is ultimately a battle for your faith---specifically, your faith in God as the all-surpassing treasure of your life.
Good News About Satan is an excellent little book. I encourage you to get a copy.